Kristinn on Democracy Now! this morning talking about the #gifiles
I’m fairly certain EVERYONE in Foz interviewed Kristinn at some point during his time there. Here’s another interview that appeared over the weekend. There’s an abbreviated version from Público.es [Spanish, English trans.] and the full version on Pascual Serrano’s website [Spanish, English trans.]
Mara Grabert (CNM / CUT) and Kristinn Hrafnsson
OMG! Pabbi, börn og Ingi! Svo sætur!
Three short videos of Kristinn being interviewed/talking to folks outside the Royal Courts on 5 December:
Two new interviews from Bratislava, both unfortunately Google Translated from the original Slovak:
(Photo: SME - Vladimir Šimíček)
Kristinn’s “Bitch, please” face
Updates that are probably old news by now:
My favourite CIA agents (CIA of the People, that is).
Kristinn gettin’ straight up gangsta on the bankstas (O_o)! From Al Jazeera, 9 November 2011
An extrajudicial banking blockade imposed on WikiLeaks has caused a 95 per cent loss in revenue for the organisation.
The banks, payment and credit card companies support extremist organisations by authorising transfers and donations to them. You can use VISA and MasterCard to donate to the Ku Klux Klan and the English Defence League. You can donate to Aryan Nations, a white supremacist organisation, despite being designated a “terrorist threat” by the FBI.
VISA and MasterCard do not mind if you decide to use your cards to buy pornography on the internet or a rifle identical to the one used by the right-wing extremist Andreas Breivik to murder 69 people in Norway. To justify such associations the banks erect a facade of political neutrality. But there is one conspicuous exception where the finance companies show their true face.
The extrajudicial banking blockade imposed upon WikiLeaks by VISA, MasterCard, Bank of America, Western Union and PayPal is unique and has been in place for almost a year.
This is an attempt against the very survival of the organisation as WikiLeaks depends entirely upon donations for its operations. Already this blockade has stripped away 95 per cent of its revenues. This is an historic act of censorship. Never before has an organisation dedicated to the fght for justice and basic rights; transparency, freedom of information, freedom of the internet and freedom of expression been hit with such a vicious attack.
There is more at stake here than simply the survival of WikiLeaks. When financial institutions decide to make it very difficult or almost impossible for you to make a donation they are infringing upon your basic human rights. They are stopping you from expressing your support for a cause.
The banking blockade of WikiLeaks might be a first but it will not be the last if it goes unchallenged.
Will the banks decide to block donations to Amnesty International, Greenpeace or Reporters Without Borders? Will they decide to stop processing transaction to media organisations that sell content on the internet? Or even more serious; will the threat of such a blockade stop any organisation, relying on donations, from being critical of the financial powers?
With some notable exception, there has been an absence of mass critical reporting on this blockade in the mainstream media. VISA, MasterCard, Bank of America, Western Union and Paypal get away with declining to comment or by making vague references to illegality by WikiLeaks.
This is easily refuted as WikiLeaks has not been convicted or charged with any wrongdoing in any jurisdiction. Even the Danish sub-contractor of VISA in Europe found nearly a year ago that nothing in WikiLeaks operations contravened laws or VISA regulations.
Moreover, despite political pressure, Timothy Geithner, the US Secretary of the Treasury, found in January 2011 that there were no lawful grounds to blacklist WikiLeaks and its publishing is protected by the 1st Amendment.
And yet, the banking giants of this world continue to impose this unlawful and unethical blockade. Fighting the blockade is a matter of priority for WikiLeaks but the outcome goes far beyond the interest of the publishing organisation. The first legal step in the fight has already been taken by asking for the intervention of the competition department of the European Commission. It is primarily aimed at VISA and MasterCard, the American companies who together process 97 per cent of European card transactions. Further steps are being prepared.
I am no stranger to the devastating effect of the banks. My home country Iceland is still suffering from the aftermath of the total collapse of the banking sector in October 2008. Although the Icelandic bankers claim to have been victims of outside forces, secret documents revealed by WikiLeaks show a different story.
WikiLeaks has published hundreds of documents exposing corruption and illegality within the banks. Initially bank secrecy had the aim to protect the privacy of costumers. Now it has become a tool to hide the wrong doing of the banks themselves at the expense of their account holders and as we have seen recently, the population at large.
Corrupt bankers (or “banksters”, as they are called in Iceland) have an interest in silencing WikiLeaks as is evident in the unprecedented illegal steps taken by VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, WesternUnion and Bank of America.
We call upon everyone to assist us in this important fight. We have seen clearly what bankers’ greed can do to our economies. We cannot allow them to directly infringe on our basic human rights.
See also: WikiLeaks’ page on the banking blockade
That’s right, kittens, Talking to WikiLeaks and more.
First: A transcript of Kristinn’s talking bits at the 1st World Meeting of Bloggers, 28 October 2011, in Foz de Iguazú, Brazil, translated and transcribed into Spanish by David Vazquez and Ruben Sanchez, translated back to English (for the most part) by my friend and yours, Google Translate:
Iroel Sanchez: Just four hours after that Wikileaks denounced the blockade of financial institutions like Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, the General Assembly of theUN condemned almost unanimously for the twentieth consecutive year the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba, what do viewing it coincidence?
Kristinn Hrafnsson: I always thought is absurd economic blockade against Cuba, still standing after all these years. This situation is totally absurd. And the fact that we still see it during the administration of Obama, showing all the empty promises of Obama, I know it’s a disappointment to many people. He promised to change things, close Guantanamo, end wars and nothing has happened. And think about the simple fact that Obama is supported by the criminals of Wall Street, is a known fact. He will not attack the bankers of the world, or as I call them, bankters. Nothing surprises me.
IS: The traditional 5 / 2 that started the publication of State Department cables made money and legitimacy through the cables leaked by Wikileaks and gradually assumed a very hostile to their organization, what you think about this evolution?
KH: As the great philosopher said: “I know its entrails.” I’ve been a journalist for 20 years, so I know the media organizations can not rely much on them and you can not expect gratitude, it is difficult to work with. So when it comes to their lack of gratitude or even counter… so, they just expose themselves. Part of what we have done in this great project last year and a half is to expose the vulnerability and bad in the media. That’s good too, because we are exposing the public that these guys are not trusted, even The New York Times or The Guardian .
I know the situation in this region, Latin America, it is very difficult to receive criticism for whom we are working in this region and possibly some of those criticisms are right in some way. That only amplifies the importance of what Wikileaks opened.
When you go to countries dominated by industrial interests means they are not going to be the voices of the people, for example, Mercurio is not the voice of the people of Chile, do not know much of Brazil to discuss details about Globo, and so on. I can tell you a pretty little story: I was in Chile in late August and invited me to speak to the association of media publishers in Latin America, and of course, they are hostile to any movement or social improvement and the newspaper that was the host of the event was published in the same home the victory of Pinochet after the coup, then they are not the nicest you’ll meet in the business of journalism. But there, the news editors of major newspapers in Latin America were sitting at a table in a seminar and invited me to speak and answer the question: how can we get the younger generation, how we can bring our content to people.
At the same time, the two-day workshop, young people were fighting the police in downtown Santiago and were being beaten. Then, just two hours and I went to downtown to see what was happening with the students and workers rose up against the government of Piñera and the police. It shows the ridiculous way the media wanted to connect with people, but people were not there, were at the center of the city, fighting the police that the media support. The cover of the day after the Mercurio, when 40 people were arrested, many beaten and killed by a student shot by police the day after all this the main headline in El Mercurio was “492 police officers injured.” I know it’s a difficult situation and is something that we realize, and how we can work with the community in the future and support good practice in journalism, which is the main objective of our struggle. They (social movements) are also fighting for the same principles as us: justice, transparency, fight corruption.
IS: What is the current status of the case against Julian Assange?
KH: We only know that the high court will give a verdict, we have no idea what might be. He may be extradited to Sweden in a few days or more, I think probably he’ll have an opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court if it wins. This probably will not end…
IS: One of the accusers of Julian Assange worked in the Swedish Embassy in Argentina and was linked, even visited Cuba with the U.S. people used to overthrow the Cuban government, do you have any comments on that?
KH: You ask me to comment on the facts of the case in Sweden and as a court case will not make any comment on these allegations, but I am aware of what you mentioned, but in essence this is something I can not comment…
But in general I think there is enough evidence published on the Internet about this case and presented in open court in London for people to think for themselves.
IS: It is noteworthy that one of the people who have defected from Wikileaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, was in Davos, seeking funding. But while Wikileaks is subjected to an economic blockade, this person receives support from those who are not exactly the poor of this world…
KH: Well, my mother told me once that if you could not say anything nice about a person, it was better to say nothing.
IS: What is your vision of the relationship between social struggles in Latin America and the role of the media?
KH: You ask this as if I were a media expert in Latin America and I’m not. But, I’ve been traveling a bit around the region. … My impression of the media environment is that it is very difficult, we are seeing means that in many ways are in full agreement with the power, economic power or political power in many countries of course is the same power, however there are exceptions to this, good means, we work with them, progressive critics. But more important, even in media that are not progressive or our political tastes, we have found individuals who are strong and have been willing to fight in the media.
Anyway, maybe there’s a new solution in the region, I hope the new solution is not necessarily a copy of what we call journalism approach appears to be the “creme de la creme” in the Western world, and say that by working with what is considered the best of Western journalism as The Guardian, The New York Times and El Pais, has not been good enough to understand the true role of journalism is to expose corruption and fight for justice.
I call this one “The Thinker” Photo by Manuel Henríquez Lagarde
Second: Talks between [WikiLeaks] and Visa Europe will take place at the Icelandic embassy in London on Wednesday, 9 November. This is an attempt to come to a solution on the banking blockade that would eliminate the need for legal action. My expectations are not high. For more info see here (Daily Mail), here (MBL.is) and here (Fréttatíminn).
“We will fight to keep doing our mission, which is to expose scandals and corruption and increase transparency, because without it democracy is an empty word.” -K. Hrafnsson
I’ve been away on Halloween holiday but here are those photos I mentioned last post.
Look at that! The sonofabitch has ARMS! Fight on, baby, fight on. After yesterday’s shameful but unsurprising decision re: Sweden vs. Assange, we’re all waiting with bated breath to see what happens next…
In the meantime do this.